The Bombay High Court has sought details on existing guidelines on conducting autopsies in private as well as state and civic hospitals across Maharashtra, particularly on post mortem examination conducted on female corpses.
The HC bench, while deliberating on public interest litigation, asked the state government if it had issued any government resolutions (GRs) to set down autopsy guidelines.
The PIL alleged that autopsies were being done by morgue attendants and sweepers instead of doctors in several civic hospitals. It was also common that male morgue attendants and sweepers conduct the post-mortem examination on women.
Queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed that due to the shortage of trained staff, doctors at civic hospitals were often assisted by morgue attendants, sweepers and assistant doctors for conducting the post-mortem, the petitioner informed the court.
Replying to a question by the bench whether the government had issued any GRs for autopsies on female corpses, state lawyer said it was possible that often, due to shortage of doctors, or “reluctance of female doctors to go into morgues”, male doctors and assistant medical staff conduct autopsies on female corpses, reports said.